Are you following your dreams?
I’ve been devouring books for as long as I can remember. Before I could read, my favorite thing to do was have my mother read stories to me.
As I got older, I began experimenting with writing my own stories or simply detailing my day in a journal. It was more than a hobby for me- it was freedom. As much as I loved it, I couldn’t imagine making a career out of writing. I enjoyed every single part of it, but I felt that my own words could never measure up to an actual published author. In my eyes, authors were celebrities.
So what did I do?
After graduating high school, I began college at the University of South Carolina. Instead of picking a major I was passionate about, I picked the one I was confident in- science. My best subjects throughout school were english and science, and science was straight forward. Learn the material; follow the rules. Easy peasy.
Here is some free advice: just because you are good at something, or even great at it, doesn’t mean you are meant to make it your job. This is a common mistake many young adults make when picking a career. If you don’t enjoy it, truly love doing it, don’t make a career of it! I can promise you that you will be miserable. I know from years of experience.
I stayed in college for three years before I ended up taking that infamous ‘year off’, and I never went back. I couldn’t understand how I could be so amazing at science and simultaneously dread doing it. Everyday I went to class or studied, my hatred grew until I stopped going completely.
Unbelievably, quitting school still wasn’t enough to convince me I’d picked the wrong career path. I came to the brilliant conclusion that hey, I must be a hands-on person. I’ll just get a job! When I landed a job at a doctor’s office, I thought it was a sign, proof that I was making the right decision.
Needless to say, I couldn’t stand going to work. Blood made me queasy and I was too much of an introvert to be good at ‘customer service’. I was happiest on the days I could type letters to patients or insurance companies!
After two years, I got married and quit working altogether. I started journaling and reading more than I ever had before, but I felt guilty for enjoying myself. Not having a job or going to school made me feel lazy. It didn’t dawn on me that I could make a career out of my passion.
I signed up for a few writing classes recently and I couldn’t be happier. I regret dedicating so much time and money into a career path that wasn’t right for me. I wish I could go back and shake myself!
I still struggle with self-doubt, but I’ve learned that every writer has and many still do. The great thing about writing though, is the more you write, the better you get. There is no greater feeling than comparing an old work to a new one and seeing your own improvement.
I think what people need to understand is, you aren’t always going to be perfect at what you’re passionate about on your first try. Don’t make the same mistakes I made, and if you already have, it’s not too late to fix them. Life is too short to spend working a job that makes you unhappy. Follow your passion- work at what you love! Now that I’m doing what my heart has always craved, the term work doesn’t fit. It’s my dream.
If you aren’t sure what your passion is, get out there and test the waters. Try new things, take a bunch of different classes and switch your major! Don’t settle! I know you have a passion inside of you, a calling, and a purpose. Find it, and the world will be a better place, not only for you, but for the many people you will inspire.